In the nearly 50 years since Mr. Oswald, the presumed assassin of President John F. Kennedy, was buried in Texas, the grave marker has been stolen from a cemetery, recovered by the police, hidden away for safekeeping, and passed around among distant relatives of the family that bought the home of Mr. Oswald’s mother after she died.
#more#As it happens, I spent weeks in the National Archives back in the early nineties with the JFK Assassination Records Collection (now housed in College Park, Md.), going through the FBI and CIA reports (the FBI reports were far superior to the Agency’s, which should come as no surprise to anyone) in the course of researching my first novel, Exchange Alley, now available as an e-book on Kindle here. (Warning: not for the squeamish.) I also attended a gathering of revisionists in Dallas on the 30th anniversary of the assassination — you can find some of their books here.
One of the most interesting aspects of the assassination’s immediate aftermath was the agitated conversations between LBJ and J. Edgar Hoover, secretly taped by Johnson. The thought that Kennedy had been murdered by a KGB assassin (Oswald, a former Marine enlisted man, had defected to the U.S.S.R. in 1959, returned with a Russian wife in 1962, and had tried to re-defect in Sept. 1963) alarmed the new president, and he needed Hoover to reassure him that the Soviets had nothing to do with JFK’s death — thus setting off the war of the moles that drove CIA counterspy James Jesus Angleton crazy. (Who do you believe? Nosenko? or Golitsyn?)
But the truth behind the assassination itself is very simple: Oswald read in the papers that the president was coming to town, saw the parade route; noticed that it went right by his place of employment, the Texas School Book Depository; brought his Mannlicher-Carcano rifle to work that day; waited for the motorcade to make the hairpin turn from Houston St. onto Elm St.; and shot Kennedy from behind, homing in on the president’s head the way a Marine sharpshooter would: miss, hit, kill.
To call him the “presumed” assassin, as the Times does so blithely, to willfully disbelieve not only the Warren Commission report or the mountain of scholarship since but Occam’s Razor itself, and requires a moral-equivalence, what-is-truth, who-the-hell-knows mindset that is the height of journalistic irresponsibility. If you can’t believe plain facts and the overwhelming preponderance of the evidence, then why publish a newspaper at all?
As James Pierson points out in his brilliant book on the assassination, Camelot and the Cultural Revolution: How the Assassination of John F. Kennedy Shattered American Liberalism, the JFK assassination drove the lunatic Left around the bend: The thought that a beloved Democratic president could have been murdered by a self-confessed, pro-Castro Marxist and Soviet stooge sent them spinning into a state of denial that continues to this day. Forced to choose between the Democrats and Communists, they chose the latter.